Radradra does extras on way to record
Eels try-scoring sensation Semi Radradra's feats are becoming increasingly unbelievable but it's the extra work he's putting in at training that has impressed his coach and also contributed to him equalling a 60-year-old record.
Radradra's double in Parramatta's 28-16 win over Wests Tigers on Monday night was the first time a player has bagged multiple tries in five consecutive top-grade games since Newtown's Ray Preston achieved the feat in 1954.
Coach Brad Arthur was measured in his praise of the blockbusting Fijian after the 23-year-old earned a Man of the Match award for a strong all-round performance that was tempered by a missed tackle that led to a try to opposing Fijian flanker Kevin Naiqama.
"Semi's been really good for us scoring tries but we've been working hard with him about his little bits and pieces in the game that he needs to do," Arthur said.
"He takes some good carries out of yardage. Defensively he's been pretty good. Tonight in the first half he wasn't great. But to his credit he aimed up better in the second half."
Eels skipper Tim Mannah, who scored the first try of the night and his first in three years, joked Radradra had been selfishly hogging the limelight.
"Yeah, it's selfish mate to see someone get that many, I waited three years for one" Mannah laughed.
"A lot of credit goes to him because our structures are really good and they give opportunities.
"But to his credit, he's the one creating the finishes for it and like Brad said, he's been rock solid in all aspects of the game, not just his try-scoring ability, his dirty work and stuff not many people take notice off – his carries out of our red zones, his defensive efforts, and just his all-round energy.
"He's been talking a lot more before games as well, which has been rare but he's doing that a lot the last few weeks. He's starting to grow a lot as a player and as a person."
Radradra scored one of his tries and helped set up another with great chases and leaps to mark bombs, out-jumping Naiqama on both occasions.
He said that was down to extra attention at training to his work under the high ball.
"I've been training there every day. I'll be the last one on the field, doing catching. The boys help me out a lot," Radradra said.
The softly-spoken winger appeared surprised by the fuss of his equalling a long-standing record.
"I don't know man. I just found out today when they told me... It feels good," he said of his feat.
"Every week I just want to score a try and help the boys. I'm just finishing all the hard work from the middle."
Arthur was pleased his team was able to get the ball to Radradra in good position.
"There's no point giving the ball to Semi if there's no space or if he's got defenders climbing all over him. We need to create those opportunities and they start with carrying the ball nice and hard through the middle," Arthur said.
Tigers coach Jason Taylor was less happy, lamenting the fact his side wasn't able to do more to shut down a player they knew would be a focus for their opponents in attack.
"They play to his side, that's the way Parramatta play, they load up that left side and they try hard to get him the ball," Taylor said.
"I was really disappointed with the one he scored on the end of the passing sequence that went out there because we didn't defend that anywhere near how we'd practised all week."
He added the weight of possession and some tries from kicks made the difference.
"We work on that and we need to be better on a couple of the kicks and as I say I was disappointed on the one where they ran the ball in there, that's their go-to play and they keep getting results from it."